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Any diamond / ring experts out there?

(71 Posts)
Drippingwithdiamonds Wed 18-Jul-12 18:02:38

Help me!
I'm replacing my wedding and engagement ring with one single ring.

I went to a lovely studio today ( they are quite big and long-established) and had a quote for a bespoke ring.

TBH I feel it's expensive. But my real problem is that I cannot compare with other places like Tiffany because she quoted me the stone sizes in millimetres, not points/carats.

The quote was for 7 stones- 3 x 1.5 mm brilliant cut, and 4 x 1.5 mm baguettes, all high quality, set like an eternity ring in 18ct gold. Cost was around £2.5K.

I've emailed to ask for carat weight/size so I can compare with other brands.

Can anyone help or say whether this sounds expensive? I'm thinking of going back for another design session and seeing what single stone I could get for that price.

Cosmostocupcakes Wed 18-Jul-12 18:15:57

If you google you will find lots of companies which sell loose stones - to be honest they should let you know the colour, clarity, caret (weight), cut and certificate

For the price I would be interested in the breakdown for design, gold(weight again) and craftsmanship and quality of stones -
The stone sizes are individually fairly small so they should be quite reasonably priced. I would do lots of research if I were you!

lisaro Wed 18-Jul-12 18:18:57

Bespoke will always cost more. But the more important factor is the quality of the diamonds. Colour, clarity and even the cut all change the price of similarly sized diamonds enormously and just using the term 'good quality' doesn't really give much idea of this. Sorry but nobody can tell you categorically if this is good or poor value without these details.

lisaro Wed 18-Jul-12 18:21:10

Also I'm assuming the actual setting will be platinum as its harder than gold but even that can make a smaller difference.

Cosmostocupcakes Wed 18-Jul-12 18:21:56

Like this?

Cosmostocupcakes Wed 18-Jul-12 18:25:03

Or this

Although this is in platinum - as you see there is a massive difference - you really need details of the stones! wink

mrscumberbatch Wed 18-Jul-12 18:55:18

Hello I am a vintage jewellery dealer so have to work with diamonds a fair bit.

The price you were quoted sounds fairish. But still isn't really indicative of what you're getting.

Carats aren't really worth knowing to be honest, it's a unit of size/weight. It doesn't tell you at all what the stone is actually like- whether there's inclusions, the colour grade, the brilliance etc.

I often find when getting custom pieces made the smaller studios and workshops are better for prices/quality of workmanship as they don't have the same overheads/branding to cover as the bigger companies and so can be more flexible.

There's quite a big jump in price between platinum and gold so that may explain some of your price, the setting might also push up the price as it can be a bit more work than just a high claw setting.

I'd suggest to have a google about and see what is being sold for a similar price. Whether you think that this design is worth it compared to other rings in the same price range.

Drippingwithdiamonds Wed 18-Jul-12 21:01:52

Okay- thanks experts!

I did some digging and found that a stone of 1.50 mm is equal to .05 carat.

The total weight of diamonds in the ring is 0.33 and a bit!

The Tiffany ring is 0.36 and is around £200 more- but it's in platinum.

Mine quoted was 18ct white gold, and the diamonds are H Si- which is good clarity, and reasonably free of exlcusions. Tiffany ones are better- V, I think.

I saw a similar ring on Hatton Jewellers website for £1200- but not bespoke- bepsoke diamonds but not the gold ring.

I think it's expensive but would be handmade etc from scratch.

Not sure.....

mrscumberbatch Wed 18-Jul-12 21:08:23

It wouldn't reeeeeally be totally handmade from scratch as the settings etc will be from stock.

I'd want better diamonds for that price. And platinum. Or it has to be handmade by some amazing artisan who will be remembered for generations.

Go get some quotes for a bespoke ring in some independent jewellers. You'll get so much more for your money.

Drippingwithdiamonds Wed 18-Jul-12 21:18:55

I think it would be made from scratch as the setting is a channel setting and I'd choose whether it was court or D style. I am also a very unsual ring size- an H- so all rings have to be made smaller or to measure.

I could be wrong! Is all they'd do choose a channel setting and pop the tiny diamonds in?

It is an independent jewellers and they do make very artisan and one-offs- but the style I want it fairly mundane!

mrscumberbatch Wed 18-Jul-12 21:26:25

They'd choose a channel shank on a court or d band, melt them together and pop the diamonds in. (Without knowing the company I can't be 100% sure but this is what I would expect as a jeweller - an independent one at that)

Most jewellers buy their settings and ring casts from Domino. A huuuuuge conglomerate. Their stuff is fab and caters for every price range.

There a few out there who will make their own casts for rings etc and that would certainly add to the price as it's extremely time consuming. The finished product would look the same as a ready made setting though.

domino website

Trade secret right there! Lol

lisaro Wed 18-Jul-12 21:33:37

SI clarity isn't terrible, but certainly isn't great - not 'high quality' and H colour is pretty good but not the best. I think the price for that is too high, to be honest. I know what you mean about a small size - I'm an 'I'.

Drippingwithdiamonds Wed 18-Jul-12 21:34:09

So can anyone recommend some lovely designers for me- ideally SE and near LOndon ;)

mrscumberbatch Wed 18-Jul-12 21:40:08

Don't go looking for 'designers', just a jeweller will do. For some reason, adding the title 'Designer' seems to add £1k to the price and it means nothing!

If you have a clear idea of what you want (ie: the ring detailed above) visit all the independent jewellers and get quotes. Ask to see previous make-ups that they have done for people, ask if they have any examples in stock to see the level of craftsmanship they're capable of.

Expect to have to make a couple of visits while the ring is in progress, as if it's channel set it will have to fit perfectly as there's not a great deal of room for re-sizing. It'll look rough, but you'll get to see it coming into shape and make any amendments/additions as you go.

marriedinwhite Wed 18-Jul-12 21:50:19

Get yourself to London and compare with jewellers like Richard Ogden and Bentley's in Old Bond Street - and indeed Tiffany and Cartier. I was once told by a jeweller these exclusive shops were more competitive than most thought because there are so many in a concentrated area they have to be competitive.

FWIW I have a discreet eternity ring, half, set with 7 diamonds totalling just under one carat that was bought from Richard Ogden for just under £2k about 11 years ago. Your price sounds a bit of a rip off to be fair.

mrscumberbatch Wed 18-Jul-12 21:54:58

It's worth remembering that metal prices have shot up hugely in the last 5 years.

A ring that cost £2k 11 years ago could be worth anything up to about £5k (RRP) now.

Had your ring valued recently marriedinwhite? Lol. Get it done, for the insurance value anyway. Now that the metal price is higher your insurance cover might not compensate for it.

marriedinwhite Wed 18-Jul-12 21:59:38

I find that very difficult to believe *mrscumberbatch*. I do know that DH increases the insurance regularly because when I lost a diamond from my engagement ring it was covered - though thinking about it - we paid £2.5k for that in late 1990 and it was valued at about £4.5k in 2005. hmm.

mrscumberbatch Wed 18-Jul-12 22:01:59

If you google 'scrap metal price' you'll see how much it has changed the industry.

It's the reason that all these cash for gold places are sprouting up everywhere.

And applause for your very wise DP and for your, now, bargain ring wink

marriedinwhite Wed 18-Jul-12 22:06:48

I think it's because we have been married almost forever grin

mrscumberbatch Wed 18-Jul-12 22:14:01

Haha, well, it does have to have some perks grin

Drippingwithdiamonds Wed 18-Jul-12 22:15:09

One thing I need to think on is that I only want a 3mm ring due to my small hands. So- I am a bit limited with this style unless I choose another setting.

But I was thinking that what I had designed today would be £1K less than it was!

Drippingwithdiamonds Wed 18-Jul-12 22:21:22

This is similar except "mine" had 3 brilliant cut instead of all baguettes.

MrsApplepants Wed 18-Jul-12 22:22:20

If you can, go for platinum, white gold will need re plating with rhodium after a few years as it will wear away and the yellow gold underneath will start to show through.

mrscumberbatch Wed 18-Jul-12 22:24:12

For a 3 mm ring you won't need huge rocks of stones then, helps keep price down, not to mention the metal cost.

If you do investigate other styles, the jeweller will be able to recommend styles that suit petite hands, and in any case, you know your own taste!

I love vintage styles like this
They tend to suit all hands. But you're getting a decent stone (great cut, not so much amazing stone but it looks great.) for your $2800 dollars in that example, not to mention the fact that it's also platinum AND vintage circa 1920...

Have fun shopping around! Don't let yourself be dragged in by a 'name'.

mrscumberbatch Wed 18-Jul-12 22:26:38

Mrsapplepants, Platinum is rhodium plated too. White gold will not go yellow after rhodium plate is worn down, it will just be a duller white/silver colour.

All white metals are rhodium plated, it's what gives them the shiny, brand new look.

It's worth getting your white metal rings done once a year. Most places will do a job lot (3 or 4 rings) for about £50. But it's not essential.

You can also rhodium plate yellow gold to make it look white, it will wear off, but if it's only occasional wear I'd expect it to last a few years. Doesn't alter the ring in any way and can be taken off by a professional quite easily.

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